London is the UK’s worst city for conveyancing fraud – where 13% of homebuyers are faced with attempted scams, Barclays research has found.
Scammers can pose as solicitors, estate agents or even the seller of the house to swindle money from the buyer.
Other bad areas for conveyancing scammers are Liverpool (10%), Birmingham (9%) and Bristol (8%), with the safest being Leeds (2%) and Manchester (3%).
Ominously Barclays said these scams are education blind, meaning those with higher levels of education or in senior roles are just as likely to be duped.
Barclays has launched a £10m advertising campaign to drive public awareness of financial fraud.
Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays UK, said: “As a society our confidence in using digital technology to shop, pay our bills and connect with others has grown faster than our knowledge of how to do so safely.
“This has created a ‘digital safety gap’ which is being exploited by criminals. I believe the need to fight fraud has now become a national resilience issue, and we all need to boost our digital safety levels in order to close the gap.
“That is why we are launching this new national campaign on digital safety, and we will do all in our power to arm people with the tools and information they need.
“I want to help make digital safety as commonplace as locking your front door.
“I want businesses, the police and the public to unite and stand shoulder to shoulder together so that we can block and frustrate the bad guys at every turn.”
Younger people (25-34 year olds) are twice as likely to be victims of online fraud than their elders.